Brett Ratner on Oscar gig: Feels like “Twilight Zone” – AWARDS ALLEY

By Sean O’Connell The news surprised everyone, including Brett Ratner himself.

The “Rush Hour” director, who is about to storm theaters with the promising ensemble comedy “Tower Heist,” had been selected to team with Don Mischer to produce the 84th Academy Awards, which are set for Feb. 26, 2012.

So what was Ratner’s reaction?

“When I first sat down with Tom [Sherak] and Dawn [Hudson], I almost felt like I was in ‘The Twilight Zone.’ I didn’t know what to think,” Ratner tells THR in an interview. “I was just trying to keep my cool. But then when I went to see Don, when I sat down with him, I felt so confident about it. The guy is just a pro. So I feel good going into it.”

The director says he was approached by the Academy to help infuse a little comedy into the annual telecast … and if you saw James Franco in drag last year, you know that good humor is desperately needed.

“To their credit, Tom and Dawn really understand what is needed, and comedy is a big part of it, and I want to make that part of it,” Ratner said. “I think that is going to be tremendous.”

When asked what changes could be made from last year’s telecast, Mischer admits, “Anything I ever do, the Olympics opening ceremony, the Super Bowl, you’re always looking at things you’d like to change. We’ll be looking at the past shows, going back to the early days, scouring them for ideas. The first thing we have to do is hire a creative team and then decide what our options and directions are.”

They also said they haven’t discussed possible hosts yet. But now that Ratner has a connection to Eddie Murphy through their collaboration on “Tower Heist,” might we suggest the stand-up comedian for the gig? Purple or red leather suit is required, though.

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